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Interpreter or Market Researcher or Events Organiser?
Thread poster: adri32
Hong Kong
Local time: 00:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 4, 2005

I would like to share this job offer with all of you. Recently I was
contacted by an Spanish market research firm who were planning to come
to London to hold meetings here. Three days in total, the first and
third day business meetings.
Fine up to here. Later on they mention "focus group" dynamics for the
second day.
I agree to do the interpreting of the interviews. I prepared a budget
for the hourly work of interpreting and enquired further details about
the groups.
They accepted my rates and at the end they mention if "you could please
help us with some phone calls", before they actually arrive to the UK.
Actually, what they wanted was that I would organise the event for them,
phoning people from an old listing they had and inviting them to take
part in a focus group in a venue ....
Since I don´t feel like making "cold calls"
I only accepted the interpreting bit of the job and suggested they
should contact someone else for the market research/event side of the
trip....or do it themselves.
They said I should take up the job as it is or they would offer it to
someone else. I didn´t accept.
They also say that they have been doing the same thing in many European
Did I do the right thing?
Anybody has had similar experiences of this sort?
Are the requirements growing up in terms of tasks involved and
difficulties? Is this an usual request?
I would like to hear the comments of more experienced free lance
interpreters working directly with clients!!!!
Thank you,


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:19
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
A job for a PCO Jun 4, 2005

(Professional Congress Organizer), but on a smaller scale. These units are sometimes attached to travel agencies, and at other times to equipment-leasing firms.

Interpreters don't have to do this. Some do, in the same way that some translators accept to deliver turnkey products to direct clients and act as project managers. A direct client in interpretation can ask you, for instance, to attend to the hiring of venue and/or sound and audio-visual equipment, but if you've never done that and run certain risks for that reason, its only honest to say its not among your services.

One way around this that interpreters have taken is to enlist help and adjust the budget accordingly. If they were planning separate bilingual focus groups for the second day, anyway, you might have to be "cloned"...

Actually, it's a bit underhanded to approve a quotation for specific services and add items outside the job schedule afterwards, expecting these to be part of the "contract". And I'm not aware if this is the case in the UK, but PCOs may need a separate license and special insurance (the venue, at least, needs insurance).

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